Week 13 Chapter 9 D
The Galilean Crisis: “How deep is your Love”?
There are defining moments in a relationship that can make or break them. Something happens that at once exposes the motivations of the persons involved. It strips away any pretension or illusion, and lays bare the real purpose or root of that union. Sometimes it is not pretty. Sometimes the relationship does not survive.
Such was the experience of Jesus and His followers at the end of the sermon in Capernaum. Jesus knew, and the twelve saw, that the reason many were following him was self-seeking not sacrificial. Knowing their hearts, Jesus asks the twelve “are you leaving, too?” Even though He already knew the answer, He asked the question.
It is interesting to note that Jesus tells the people that unless God draws them, they cannot follow. On the surface, it might seem to some that Jesus is saying Christianity is an elitist club for God’s handpicked favorites. However, that is not what He is saying at all. God is impartial; and even though He knows who will choose Him, He desires people to love Him willingly. That necessitates choice on the part of the follower. A person who would truly follow God, would not be shallow and self-serving because those attributes inhibit, if not prohibit, a loving relationship. One cannot truly love people when their own interests are at the fore. Just as Jesus modeled for us, in order to love another, one must die to self; love and self-focus are antithetical. Therefore, in His sermon Jesus is asking rhetorically, “How deep is your love?”
As one can see, most of them left because there was nothing in it for them, and they did not intend to sacrifice for Him. How sad that must have been for Jesus! How often do we do that to Him? Even though Jesus knew that would happen, before the beginning began, He died for us anyway! The twelve may have been dismayed too, but for different reasons. Some of them thought like Zealots, who believed Jesus was there to conquer their physical enemies. They thought their Messiah had come to lead them into battle against the Romans. Losing an army of followers would certainly put the “kibosh” on that! Later, they would be devastated again as their fearless leader, who was able to do wondrous miracles, fell prey to the infamous Roman Cross.
Little did they know that by dying, Jesus would give them life! Even though they were close to Him, they were about to find out, not only how deep their love for Him was, but also how truly deep His love was for them. They were about to experience true communion, the reason for the feast. How deep is your love? See you next time.